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Good Business - Bad Business


(13 ratings)


2 Weeks


Cohort-based Course

Why are some businesses better than others? Learn to identify great businesses, buy them at reasonable prices, and build long-term wealth.

Hosted by

10-K Diver and Ali Ladha

We make business, accounting, and investing principles easy to understand.

Course overview

Learn To Recognize Great Businesses

Some businesses are a pleasure. They run smoothly. They print money.

Others are a frustration. They're always putting out fires. Always short on cash.

In 2 weeks, learn what qualities make a business wonderful. How to identify such winners. And how to use them to build wealth.

Who This Course Is For


You want to learn what high quality businesses look like. So you can study the numbers and tell whether a business is wonderful or terrible.


You want to run a good business, or invest in good businesses. So you can create wealth for yourself while positively impacting the world.


You want to take financially sensible business & investing decisions. So you can avoid costly mistakes and earn good returns with low risk.

Key Outcomes

Learn what separates great businesses from mediocre ones

For example, great businesses tend to have high returns on capital, long growth runways, strong competitive positions, recurring revenues, pricing power, great cash flow conversion, and a host of other traits. We'll help you appreciate the power of each of these.

Know what to look for in the numbers

If a business is high quality, it'll show up in the numbers sooner or later. The problem is: these numbers are expressed in a rather strange language: accrual accounting. We'll show you how to read and speak this language, and how to use it to glean valuable business insights.

Start taking great business and investing decisions

To take good decisions, you need:

  • The right information (eg, from financial statements),
  • The right concepts (eg, time value of money, opportunity cost), and
  • The right modeling/analysis technique (eg, LTV vs CAC, DCF).

We'll show you how to bring all these ingredients together.

Use cash efficiently

Businesses have to do 3 things well:

  • Raise cash (eg, issue debt/equity) opportunistically,
  • Generate cash via operations (eg, manage working capital) intelligently, and
  • Use cash (eg, in internal projects, acquisitions, dividends, etc.) wisely.

We'll help you learn these skills.

Avoid common mis-understandings about business

In our experience, there are widespread mis-conceptions about many business fundamentals. For example, using debt is NOT always bad. Growth is NOT always good. By reasoning from first principles, we'll help you work your way to the truth -- even if it's counter-intuitive.

Become comfortable with basic financial modeling and analysis

Throughout the course, we'll build, analyze, and simulate financial models and spreadsheets to help us understand various businesses. We'll give you access to these models, so you can tinker with them, build on them, run your own analyses and simulations, etc.


(13 ratings)

See What People Are Saying

        10-K Diver is the real deal. He's an amazing investor, thinker, and teacher. He has a knack for making complex topics easy to understand. Taking his course will 10x your business skills.
Brian Feroldi

Brian Feroldi

Investor, Author
        An absolute brilliant and invaluable compilation of important learnings that significantly contributes to everyone's understanding of business and investing.
Gautam Baid

Gautam Baid

Managing Partner, Stellar Wealth Partners India Fund
        Everyone needs to understand accounting and finance. Ali makes it so easy. He has the unique ability to simplify complex ideas and make them interesting. Highly recommend this course!
Misha DaVinci

Misha DaVinci

        You guys are able to take complex topics and make this stuff so simple! Business owners and founders need this!
Barrett O'Neill

Barrett O'Neill

Co-Founder, OnDemand Storage
        This is ideal for SMB owners. Being able to tell the difference between a good business and a bad one could save you millions.
Chris Munn

Chris Munn

Founder, The Fairfield Company
        Poor understanding of financials is one of the top reasons promising businesses fail. Because I wanted to increase my chances of success, I turned to Ali. Am I glad I did. Ali is the Wikipedia of accounting. Best of all— he explains everything in layman's terms so you can execute immediately. I highly recommend this course to anyone!
Sheila Gonzalez

Sheila Gonzalez

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Meet Your Instructors

10-K Diver

10-K Diver

I'm a computer scientist. I don't have much formal training in business.

Over the years, by piecing together information from various sources (eg, books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, Warren Buffett's letters, 10-Qs, and 10-Ks), I gradually figured out for myself the basic principles of business, finance, and investing.

Now, I want to help others learn these principles, so they can take better financial decisions in their lives.

Ali Ladha

Ali Ladha

I'm a finance and accounting professional with over 12 years of experience working in accounting, capital markets and financial advisory. I began my career working at the "big 4" accounting firms KPMG and Deloitte. I then worked in capital markets at BMO and in tech at Apple, before launching Vertical CPA in 2020.

Since then, I've been helping start-up founders and small businesses with accounting, tax, bookkeeping, forecasting, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), fundraising, and strategic planning.

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Course Schedule

4-6 hours per week
  • Workshop 1: September 19

    1:00pm - 2:30pm EST

    How Businesses Work

    • The lifecycle of a business
    • The magic of retained earnings: how businesses compound their owners' money over time
    • Businesses as streams of cash flows
    • How much should you PAY for a cash flow stream?
    • Survival, longevity, and how businesses die
  • Workshop 2: September 21

    1:00pm - 2:30pm EST

    What Makes A Business Wonderful? (Part 1)

    • The "value chain" that a business is part of
    • Types of competitive advantages (moats): Barriers to entry/scale, network effects, etc.
    • Cyclicality and seasonality
    • Bargaining power with suppliers
    • Pricing power with customers
  • Workshop 3: September 23

    1:00pm - 2:30pm EST

    What Makes A Business Wonderful? (Part 2)

    • The power of leverage
    • Scalability: Product vs. service businesses
    • Cash flow conversion and working capital management
    • The fundamentals of intelligent capital allocation
  • Workshop 4: September 26

    1:00pm - 2:30pm EST

    How Business Quality Shows Up In The Numbers (Part 1)

    • The fundamentals of accounting
    • Cash vs. accrual accounting
    • The 3 key financial statements: the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement, and the Cash Flow statement
  • Workshop 5: September 28

    1:00pm - 2:30pm EST

    How Business Quality Shows Up In The Numbers (Part 2)

    • Things to look for in the 3 key financial statements (eg, operating leverage, debt coverage and margin of safety, net income vs owner earnings vs free cash flow, and more),
    • How inflation impacts businesses
    • LTV vs CAC analysis
  • Workshop 6: September 30

    1:00pm - 2:30pm EST

    Counter-intuitive Truths About Business

    • Growth is NOT always good
    • Debt is NOT always bad
    • Buying is NOT always better than leasing
    • Lots of cash on the Balance Sheet is NOT always good
    • Negative working capital is NOT always bad
    • And more!
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Learning Is Better With Cohorts

Learning Is Better With Cohorts

Active, not passive

This course focuses on live workshops, active participation, and hands-on financial modeling/analysis

Learn with a cohort of peers

Surround yourself with people who share your interests. Engage with them. Learn from each other. Grow your knowledge and skills together.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I can’t make a live session?
I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
What’s the cancellation policy?
For how long do I have access to the course material?
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